Argentine great Lionel Messi will launch his first full Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign on Feb. 21 when Inter Miami kick off the 2024 regular season at home with a match against Real Salt Lake, the league announced on Wednesday.
Messi’s club, which he joined in July after signing a two-and-a-half year contract, will be thrown back in the spotlight four days later when Miami visit LA Galaxy in a match that will highlight a full slate of opening week action.
Among their 34 regular season games, Messi’s club will also visit Orlando City SC on May 15 during MLS Rivalry Week. Miami’s final regular season game is Oct. 19 at New England Revolution.
The matches were announced along with the full schedule for the 2024 MLS regular season, which ends on Oct. 19 followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and culminating in the MLS Cup on Dec. 7.
Messi, a World Cup champion and record eight-time Ballon d’Or winner as best player in the world, has made an immediate impact with Miami both on and off the field since his arrival.
The Argentine forward scored a stoppage-time winner in his Miami debut and had 11 goals in 14 appearances across all competitions for the MLS side while leading the club to their first-ever trophy by winning the Leagues Cup final.
Messi’s arrival was also credited with a surge in ticket prices, merchandise and subscriptions to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, which streams live matches. Miami have also said season tickets for their 2024 campaign are already sold out.